October 4, 2016

Amazon is cracking down on product reviews on free and discounted items!

Many of you have gone through clubs that offer free and discounted products for your "honest" review on products sold on Amazon.  Unfortunately for you, Amazon is ending this practice.  I think it's a good move on Amazon's part, because I can't imagine these "reviewing" companies wanting to keep using you as a reviewer if you are leaving negative feedback.  So that would suggest that to stay on and get more free stuff, you would need to leave some type of positive review.  In other words, the reviews may not be completely honest.

The exception to this rule is Amazon Vine members - of which the program is ran through Amazon itself.  Amazon Vine members even pay income tax on their free items.  This is the only totally legit way to get free items and review them on Amazon per Amazon rules.  As far as I know, there is no way that I know of to get "picked" for the Vine program - Amazon just sends invitations to people who they feel have helpful reviews.

Here is their updated customer support page: Promotions and Commercial Solicitations

Books are an exception: "Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review."

Amazon works hard to keep their reviews honest and helpful to their customer base and I commend them on these new guidelines.  When I order a product, I want to be able to make a decision based on honest reviews.  I actually avoid products when the reviews say that they were "given the product free or for a discount in return for a review."

What do you think?


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